“We are taking part in the INF World Netball Championships as a strong team from Asia. We are hoping to make a big difference, especially in World Netball Rankings,” said Sri Lanka Netball Captain Chathurangi Jayasooriya.
Jayasooriya led the Sri Lanka winning team at the 2018 Asian Netball Championships in Singapore. She represents Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club. Jayasooriya possesses 43 international caps, two World Championships (2011 and 2015), three Asian Championships and one Asian Youth Championship. She has played as a Goal Defender (GD) and Goal Keeper (GK).
“As Asian champions, we have come a long journey. It is after nine years that Sri Lanka emerged Asian champions, which is a great achievement. We hope to present what the country expects from us at the championships,”
The team is coached by the experienced Thilaka Jinadasa. She has been coaching the Sri Lanka team since 2018. In 2009, Sri Lanka emerged champions under her guidance. In three editions (2012, 2014 and 2016) Sri Lanka were unable to enjoy success, but after she accepted the post of National Netball Coach in 2018, Sri Lanka emerged Asian Netball champs.
In the INF World Rankings, she has brought the Sri Lankan team to 19th spot from 25th out of 41 countries.
“My main target is to bring Sri Lanka into the World top ten. I think it is possible with the team we have. Australia, current world champions is in our group. The team is very strong and we are in a position to create a difference,” said Jinadasa.
The manager of the team is Trixie Nanayakkara, an experienced netball administrator, national player, former national coach and international referee. She is a former president of the Sri Lanka Netball Federation.
Sixteen teams are taking part in the championships. Sri Lanka is in Group A. The other countries in this group are: Australia, Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka’s first round first match is on July 12 against Zimbabwe while the second match will be against Northern Ireland on July 13. Their third and final match is on July 15 against Australia.